Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome to the New Baktun!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 5:08 AM

So you didn't die in the Mayan Apocalypse, eh? Why? Because there was no Mayan Apocalypse. No, not just that it didn't happen and so now we can all sit around laughing at the stupid Mayans.

But because the Mayans never believed the world was going to end today in the first place. The Mayan calendar under consideration just rolled over like an odometer. And just like your car doesn't cease to exist when you roll the odometer over, neither does the world when the Mayan calendar begins again.

Here's an explanation:

The long count calendar, which is the source of all the hubbub is flipping to the next Baktun tomorrow. Todays date is baktun 12 katun 19 tun 19 uinal 17 kin 19. Tomorrow will be — leap years don’t come into it. It runs like an odometer on a base 20 system except for the uinal which is base 18 (whats that all about anyway?…)

But even this is not the end as the Baktun wont flip to zero till the end of the Piktun, which happens on October 13, 4772. At that point it will be

So, happy new Baktun, make the most out of it. But it is just the 13th Baktun of a long cycle.

So, if the Mayans didn't believe today was the Mayan Apocalypse, just where did we get the idea that the end of the world was coming today?

Turns out it comes from the son of a gal who used to date Jack Kerouac — Daniel Pitchbeck. Partially inspired — and you're going to be COMPLETELY unsurprised by this next part — by his use of hallucinogenics and the great "revelations" they gave him, Pinchbeck apparently became convinced that this was the day of Mayan doom. You can learn all about it in his book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. A clue that the book wasn't going to be a fount of historical accuracy is that Quetzalcoatl is an Aztec god, not a Mayan one — their feathered snake god was either Qucumatz or Kukulkan. And yes, from the outside, it's easy enough to say that one snake god with feathers from Central America must be the same as another. But that's like saying God, Zeus, and Santa Claus are all the same god because they have big white bushy beards and are popular in Europe.

If you wouldn't trust the a prediction about the end of the world made by a guy who decided "Eh, Santa? Zeus? Same difference," you shouldn't trust a prediction by a guy who's not making any distinctions between Quetzalcoatl and Qucumatz.

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